Personal Injury Lawyers Jonesboro, Arkansas

Arkansas State Police Emphasize Motorcycle Safety for All Road Users

Right hand of motorcyclist wearing riding glove on the hand brake.

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, marking the start of the riding season for many motorcyclists in Jonesboro and throughout Northeast Arkansas. In recognition of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, the Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have a message to send: motorcyclist safety is a shared responsibility for all road users.

Motorcyclists are consistently overrepresented in traffic crashes. The NHTSA reports that 6,218 motorcyclists died in traffic crashes in 2022. This accounted for 15% of all highway fatalities and a 1% increase from 2021's total of 6,143. Per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, motorcyclists are about 22 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a motorcycle accident and four times more likely to be injured.

What are the leading causes of motorcycle accidents?

Since motorcyclists don't have the protective enclosure of a motor vehicle, they're at a greater risk than motorists to sustain severe and life-threatening injuries. The biggest threat to motorcycle safety is driver negligence. That includes:

  • Speeding: Speed reduces reaction time and increases the severity of crashes.
  • Distracted driving: This includes using mobile phones, eating, or other activities that take attention away from the road.
  • Alcohol and drug use: Impairment due to alcohol or drugs affects judgment, reflexes, and the ability to operate a vehicle safely.
  • Sudden stops: Rear-end accidents can occur when a vehicle abruptly stops, and a motorcyclist cannot react quickly enough, or vice versa.
  • Left-turn accidents: These are among the most dangerous situations for motorcyclists. They occur when a car makes a left turn and fails to see an oncoming motorcycle.
  • Failure to yield: Drivers who do not yield the right-of-way or do not notice motorcycles often cause crashes, especially at intersections.

How effective are motorcycle helmets in a crash?

Wearing Department of Transportation-compliant helmets is important for motorcycle safety. Research shows that helmet use can reduce motorcycle fatalities by 22% to 42% in a crash and brain injuries by 41% to 69%. NHTSA estimates that helmets saved 1,872 lives in 2017 and that an additional 749 lives could have been saved if all motorcyclists wore helmets.

However, vehicle drivers have a larger responsibility for ensuring the safety of motorcyclists. While helmets are crucial in protecting riders, they cannot prevent accidents. Drivers must be vigilant and considerate, recognizing that their actions can have significant consequences for more vulnerable road users like bikers.

What should drivers do to promote motorcycle safety?

Motor vehicle drivers can play a role in preventing motorcycle accidents by adopting certain practices and being aware of the vulnerabilities of motorcyclists. Here are some motorcycle safety tips for drivers:

  • Check blind spots before changing lanes or turning.
  • Use turn signals in advance when turning or changing lanes.
  • Maintain safe following distances for more time to react if a motorcyclist stops suddenly.
  • Be extra cautious at intersections and look for oncoming motorcyclists.
  • Stay fully attentive while driving. Avoid using your phone, eating, or other distractions.
  • Understand that motorcyclists may need to change positions within a lane.
  • Yield to motorcycles as you would to other vehicles.
  • Be aware that motorcycles are harder to see at night.

How do I get legal help if I was hurt in a motorcycle accident?

If you or a loved one were injured in a motorcycle accident in Northeast Arkansas, McDaniel Law Firm is ready to listen to your story and discuss your options. You may be entitled to compensation for your losses, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, the process of recovering the compensation you deserve isn't always as straightforward as it should be when dealing with insurance companies.

Our law firm understands the biases insurance companies have toward motorcyclists and the tactics they use to reduce their payouts. For example, they may try to shift the blame onto you, even when the other driver is clearly at fault. Don’t let insurance companies intimidate you or pressure you into accepting a lowball settlement offer that doesn't come close to covering all your losses. Contact us today to schedule your free, no-obligation case consultation. We're the motorcycle accident lawyers you can trust to help you find your way forward.

"The McDaniel Law Firm is the best in Northeast Arkansas." — Actual Client.

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